Friday, January 22, 2010

One Week To Go!

Only one week from today to go until I begin the process to start R&R/leave, and to no better place than home! I really cannot wait to be home with my bride and baby girl for 15 precious days.  It is going to be a nice break.

Some of the people in my unit that have already gone and come back tell of their experience traveling back home that a VFW chapter in Texas provides a very warm welcome reception once they arrived in Dallas at the gate and in the terminal.  That will be an interesting experience.  The airlines were generous to our people also by upgrading them to First Class.  The one thing that is a for sure consensus from the people who have already gone and come back is that it is a long ride there and back.  That First Class flight from Dallas to home probably feels great after flying government until Europe and then commercial to the US.  We'll see what my experience is and I may write about it.

After I get back from R&R I will only have about 4 months left until my unit and I come home for good!  

This Sunday, the 24th, is my 28th birthday!  It is going to probably feel like another day being over here.  A good birthday present is that not too many days after my birthday I get to come home to see my family.  I did get a package from my mom and a special one from Barby with some wonderful birthday gifts in it!  Not just gifts from her, but from many of you - friends and family - back home contributing.  Thank you very much!

Many of you may have noticed this in some of the pictures of me.  One of my goals to take advantage of while over here was to lose Barby's baby weight, about 30 lbs.  It was also my baby weight ;).  In the Fall of 2008 I weighed about 220, at least I found that recorded on a weigh-in sheet in my Army records.  When I was at Ft. Dix in August I weighed in at 213.  By this last November I was in the 190s.  I'm officially at about 190 now!  I'm pretty close to the weight I was at when Barby and I got married in 2006.  I've lost over 20 lbs since Ft. Dix, and just about that 30 lbs since the Fall of 2008!  I feel great that I was able to do that and get better fit and healthier during this tour so far.  It was one thing I could do to make the best out of this deployment.

I'll leave this post with a few photos of TGI Fridays that just got completed this week.  In fact, they are opening it for service tonight.  For my birthday this weekend some of us in the unit are hoping to go there for lunch sometime and check it out.  We don't have much else to do around here!  I'll get some pictures of the food and it busy during operating hours if we go.  It is going to be busy these next few days of it first opening, for sure.  All of us are still perplexed how a TGI Fridays got over here.

The front entrance, right off the boardwalk

Another view of front with the other sign

These signs are all lit up at night

This is right as you come inside and looking to the left. Notice the bar ready to be setup for all the booze.  However, instead of booze it is stacked full of just mixes for their virgin blended smoothies.  No booze here...

          More pictures of the inside. It really looks like one from back home inside. This will be the nicest spot in Kandahar for awhile.

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